Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp? | The Institute for Creation Research
 
Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp?

Most geologists are trained to think from a uniformitarian perspective—that "the present is the key to the past"—that present uniform processes operating throughout the past account for all present rock units. This concept considers coal to be the altered remains of plant material accumulated in a peat swamp. Let's look at modern peat swamps and the peat accumulating in their brackish waters and see if they would make a good coal.

Today's peat swamps sport extensive vegetation growing in shallow water or on saturated high ground. Nowhere can a laterally extensive flat surface be found. The decaying organic material collects in the stagnant, acidic water and takes on a rather "coffee grounds" texture with the wood and bark quite decayed, thoroughly penetrated by roots and animal burrows.

Let's compare this with a typical coal found in the geologic record. Although tectonics subsequent to deposition may have tilted or faulted the coal, modern coal seams usually show an extremely regular geometry. Often a knife-edge contact between the coal and the layers above and below can be seen. Most often the adjacent layers are shale or limestone, both "marine" deposits which necessitate a quite different environment of dep-osition from a terrestrial swamp. This involves repeated down warping and subsequent uplift in uniformitarian thinking.

The coal matrix is typically very fine grained, but surrounds abundant sheets of altered bark, recognizably different from the rest, giving coal a layered look. Seldom are roots present. Thin "clay partings" are almost always seen within the coal, often laterally extensive. They can be traced and correlated—some for miles. The seams are usually of rather constant thickness, and the now-flat bark sheets are consistent with the width and height of a tree. Although some variation does exist in all these parameters, everything about a coal seems different from a modern swamp peat, except it's high organic makeup.

Coal seams near Price, Utah.  The lower seam is about 3' thick.The accompanying photograph shows two coal seams visible in a road cut near Price, Utah. Observe the sharp contacts between the coal and the adjacent layers. If a swamp existed above sea level, but then was inundated by the sea to receive overlying marine sediments, then uplifted to become a swamp again, and the cycle repeated, one would think there would be some erosional channels or variation in peat thickness? How could they be so flat and of constant thickness, and how could there be such precise contacts above and below?

Modern-day peats do not seem to be of the same character as modern-day coals. Perhaps the creation model of decaying plant material collecting under a large floating mat during the Great Flood of Noah's day provides a better answer.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2003. Did Modern Coal Seams Form in a Peat Swamp? Acts & Facts. 32 (8).

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Scripture Memory & Archaeological Evidence | Creation.Live Podcast:...
"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11 NKJV). Scripture memory was important thousands of years...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Continues to Challenge Big Bang
Data obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continue to challenge expectations of Big Bang proponents.1,2 The JWST is designed...

CREATION PODCAST
The Truth About the Chimp Genome (Humans & Chimps: Part 2) |...
Have scientists proven human evolution from a "common apelike ancestor," or are we being told a clever, confusing story filled with farcical...

NEWS
World's Oldest Meal
The Ediacara biota is a sporadic faunal (animal) stage containing unique soft-bodied fossil creatures in sandstone from the Ediacaran System dating...

NEWS
No Microbes on Mars
Mars is a lifeless world. But those holding to a naturalistic worldview continue to have hope—even faith—that the Red Planet was at...

NEWS
Flood Explains Grouping of Ichthyosaurs
The discovery of dozens of ichthyosaur fossils in Nevada was announced in the journal Current Biology.1 Seven 50-foot long ichthyosaurs of...

NEWS
Frog Stripe Evolution?
Color patterns in animals, whether vertebrates or invertebrates, are designed by the Creator for camouflage, warning, courtship, or, simply, for the...

CREATION PODCAST
They Lied to Us? (Humans & Chimps: Part 1) | The Creation Podcast:...
Back in the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin promoted the supposed similarity between humans and chimpanzees. Later DNA studies seemed to support...

NEWS
The Importance of Context in Sound Biblical Interpretation
During World War II, fighter planes often returned from battle riddled with bullet holes. The Allies analyzed the litany of data and mapped the areas...

NEWS
Bird Beaks: Modern and Ancient
Science is dynamic. What was considered incontrovertible for decades can be overturned with a simple discovery or more research. So it is with the...